As the exit poll outcomes began pouring in projecting Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi’s next CM with full majority, the mood in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) camp changed from that of confidence to jubilation.
An AAP victory would be special because for its leaders it would halt a dream run of state wins for Modi who had defeated Kejriwal in Varanasi during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the past, some exit polls have proved to be unreliable.
Final results would be announced on Tuesday.
“My sincere thnks and congratulations to all selfless volunteers of AAP, who worked round the clock for their country. AAP is because of you. My gratitude to Delhiites for their support. You are so amazing, rejected politics of caste and religion. Hope final results are as per exit polls,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The Delhi elections were billed as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AAP had lost ratings when Kejriwal resigned in 49 days and it later lost all seven LS seats in Delhi to BJP. Kejriwal held a record 100-odd public meetings and kept apologising for quitting, emerging stronger and not letting the surprise inclusion of Bedi take the sheen off his campaign.
Modi himself addressed rallies in Delhi and launched personal attacks on Kejriwal, asking BJP ministers and MPs to take AAP on. But the sudden anointment of Bedi is understood to have backfired because of BJP’s internal feuds.
“People want a corruption-free and bribery-free Delhi and I’m hopeful they will vote accordingly,” Kejriwal said as he went to vote earlier in the day. “I am confident the people will win and that the truth will win.”
Kejriwal cast his vote in a polling booth at a senior secondary school in Lodhi colony. He urged people to vote in large numbers.
Many people waited outside the poll booth in the New Delhi assembly constituency for a glimpse of Kejriwal. He shook hands with the residents before casting his ballot.
Journalist-turned-AAP leader Ashutosh had told IANS before the exit poll results came: “We are confident of winning and forming a government in Delhi. According to our estimates, we will win 40-42 (of the 70) seats.”